Promised Gift of American Ceramics Transforms Metropolitan Museum's Art Pottery Collection
(New York—January 13, 2009) The Metropolitan Museum of Art has accepted the promised gift of 250 exceptional examples of American art pottery from the collector Robert A. Ellison Jr., it was announced at a meeting of the Museum's Board of Trustees today. The collection—which spans the years 1876 through 1956 and represents all regions of the nation—ranks among the foremost of its kind, and will be unveiled on the mezzanine level of the Museum's Charles Engelhard Court when the second phase of the newly renovated American Wing opens on May 19, 2009.
Brilliant Chinese Paintings and Calligraphies of Ming Dynasty in New Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum
Drawn entirely from the extensive resources of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Arts of the Ming Dynasty: China's Age of Brilliance will present a grand array of artworks created during one of the most celebrated dynasties in Chinese history. Featuring 70 paintings and calligraphies, including masterpieces by Wang Fu (1362-1416), Xia Chang (1388-1470), Wen Zhengming (1470–1559), Dong Qichang (1555–1636), and Chen Hongshou (1599–1652), the exhibition will examine various artistic trends as well as the distinctive personal expressions of many of the leading artists of the time. The works will be complemented by more than 30 ceramics, textiles, lacquers, cloisonnés, jades, and bamboo carvings that will showcase the material prosperity experienced during the period.
Pierre Bonnard's Luminous Late Interiors Featured in Metropolitan Museum Exhibition Opening January 27
The first exhibition to focus entirely on the radiant late interiors and still-life paintings of Pierre Bonnard (1867–1947) will open January 27, 2009, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Pierre Bonnard: The Late Interiors features 80 paintings, drawings, and watercolors that date from 1923 to 1947, when Bonnard centered his painting activity in Le Cannet, a hill town in the south of France. Working in his modest house overlooking the Mediterranean, Bonnard's paintings transformed the rooms and objects that surrounded him into dazzling images infused with intense light. It is these luminous late interiors that define Bonnard's modernism and prompt a reappraisal of his reputation in the history of 20th-century art. Among the 45 paintings, 16 watercolors and gouaches, and 19 drawings and sketches in the exhibition are numerous rarely seen works from private collections, as well as loans from prominent museums in Europe and the U.S. The exhibition will also reunite several pictures that once hung side-by-side on Bonnard's studio wall in Le Cannet.
Walker Evans's Eclectic Picture Postcard Collection Featured in Metropolitan Museum Exhibition Opening February 3
Nine thousand picture postcards amassed by American photographer Walker Evans (1903–1975) are among the fascinating works in The Walker Evans Archive, acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1994. Walker Evans and the Picture Postcard, to be presented at the Museum from February 3 through May 25, 2009, will be a dynamic installation of hundreds of these postcards from Evans's collection, which he built and refined over the course of 60 years. The direct influence of the postcard on his pictorial style will be demonstrated with the inclusion of a small group of Evans's own photographs, also from the Museum's collection.
Master Drawings from Collection of Jean Bonna On View at Metropolitan Museum
Raphael to Renoir: Drawings from the Collection of Jean Bonna is the first comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the European Old Master and 19th-century drawings from this distinguished Swiss collection. On view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning January 21, 2009, Raphael to Renoir provides a rare opportunity to see 120 master drawings, ranging across 500 years of the history of art, from the Renaissance to 1900. Representing a range of artistic schools, the selection includes works by famous artists—such as Carpaccio, Raphael, Andrea del Sarto, Parmigianino, Canaletto, Rembrandt, Claude Lorrain, Watteau, Chardin, Boucher, Fragonard, Goya, Ingres, Gericault, Delacroix, Manet, Burne-Jones, Whistler, Degas, Cézanne, Redon, Renoir, Gauguin, Van Gogh, and Seurat—as well as superb and poignant drawings by lesser-known artists.
Contemporary Artist Raqib Shaw's Fantastical Tableaux On View at Metropolitan Museum November 4
Never-before-seen paintings and works on paper by London-based artist Raqib Shaw (Indian, born 1974) will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from November 4, 2008, through March 8, 2009.
Vermeer's The Milkmaid on View in the United States for First Time in 70 Years in New Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum
On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's historic voyage from the Netherlands to New York, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has sent The Milkmaid, perhaps the most admired painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer (1632—1675), to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. To celebrate this extraordinary loan, the Metropolitan Museum presents Vermeer's Masterpiece The Milkmaid, a special exhibition beginning September 10, which also includes all five paintings by Vermeer from its collection, as well as a select group of works by other Dutch artists, placing Vermeer's superb picture in its historical context. The exhibition marks the first time that the painting has traveled to the United States since it was exhibited at the 1939 World's Fair.
Art of Second Millennium B.C. Explored in Landmark Exhibition at Metropolitan Museum
Beginning around four thousand years ago in the lands of western Asia and the eastern Mediterranean, one of the first international ages in human history emerged. Intense exchange fostered a burst of creativity in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Anatolia, the Levant, and the Aegean in the second millennium B.C.—the time of the Middle and Late Bronze Ages. The quest for raw materials such as metals, semiprecious stones, and other exotic luxury goods led to contacts with the Iranian plateau and Central Asia. Within this lively sphere of interaction, societies that otherwise differed strongly in culture and language were linked by the exchange of objects and ideas. In response, new international styles and imagery arose, reflected in the art, trade and diplomacy that connected the Mesopotamian heartland with the regions "Beyond Babylon."
Rich Legacy of African Textiles on View in Metropolitan Museum Exhibition
Africa's extraordinary legacy of textile arts, with its explosive color and complex graphic statements, will be presented at The Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning September 30. Bringing together more than 40 works dating from the early 19th century to the present – including a spectacular silk and cotton kente prestige cloth woven in Ghana during the 19th century and a 30-foot-long installation work by contemporary artist Yinka Shonibare – The Essential Art of African Textiles: Design Without End will highlight the enduring significance of textiles as a major form of aesthetic expression across the continent. While examining some of the finest and earliest preserved examples of different regional textile traditions, the exhibition will relate these to works by eight contemporary artists, who draw inspiration from textiles in their explorations of other media ranging from sculpture, painting, and photography to video and installation art. Works selected for the exhibition are drawn primarily from the collections of the Metropolitan and the British Museum as well as several private collections in the U.S. and Europe.
Calder's Inventive Jewelry Featured in Metropolitan Museum Exhibition Opening December 9
American-born artist Alexander Calder (1898–1976) is celebrated for his mobiles, stabiles, paintings, and objets d'art. The landmark exhibition Calder Jewelry—to be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from December 9, 2008, through March 1, 2009—is the first museum presentation dedicated solely to his extensive output of inventive jewelry. During his lifetime, Calder produced approximately 1,800 unique pieces of brass, silver, and gold body ornaments, often embellished with found objects such as beach glass, ceramic shards, and wood. Calder Jewelry will feature approximately 90 works—necklaces, bracelets, earrings, brooches, and tiaras—many of which were made as personal gifts for the artist's family and friends.